Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Present Tense

  I am not quite finished with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, but I have to say that I am amazed at the technique of using present tense throughout the book. Not only is the tense difficult to maintain, but it is so fitting for this particular story. Even with the jumps through time it feels like we're right there, experiencing the Circus, seeing Chandresh's mansion, watching the Illusionist. I love the mystery it creates along with the sense of urgency, pulling you through the story. I've tried this technique before. I love the end result, but I couldn't imagine keeping it up throughout an entire book. Of course it is a fun technique to try, even just as a prologue or summary. I am going to re-try this technique this month for a new picture book. I'm not sure if I can work with this tense without giving a creepy or mysterious feel (not very good for picture books), but worth a try anyway.